My Bikescapade: A buck, some shrooms and Sandy


Cross posted from GCimages. Originally posted on Oct. 29, 2012.

By now I’m sure the hashtag cries of Sandy and Frankenstorm (and whatever other trite cutesy name has been bestowed on this enormous weather event) has reached most of the Eastern Seaboard if not the entire country. As expected the already-questionable driving has gotten out of hand, not with people driving 20 under the speed limit by hydroplaning 100 mph over. (Back the f— of man!)

Anyway, watching the updates come in, my commute to and from work is pretty much obliterated.

Metro announced a complete shutdown of their service until further notice so I have no public transit to rely on, and no doubt the wind will take down most of the trees along the Capital Crescent so biking will be precarious. And if the estimates are right, after 2 p.m. it’s going to be BAD. So no biking.

Luckily I don’t work in retail anymore so I don’t have to wonder whether or not I’m expected to cover my shift at the shopping mall, but working for a paper doesn’t make this confusion any better. Am I still expected to show up at the office tomorrow? As of this writing, I have no friggin idea.

[update] Work from home! Yowzas![/update]

Anyway, as much as I’d like to keep typing away about beloved Sandy, this isn’t a post about the impending apocalyptic-storm. It’s about a few bike encounters and trips pre-storm.

Two weeks ago, on my way to work I encountered a young buck. Now, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem except 1.) it’s a buck, reactions could be unpredictable, 2.)what the hell do I do?! 3.) it’s between me and a very narrow, enclosed part of the trail…

As soon as I saw it, I slowed down. It saw me coming so it started running, in a zig-zag fashion across the width of the trail, in the same direction I was going. It seemed confused. Just when it looked like it would jump into the woods it would run across the trail, then back again. We were getting really close to this narrow part of the trail with fences so passing would’ve been precarious. I mean, the animal had some antlers on it and the last thing I need is to scare it and have it impale me with its adolescent antlers and kick me with its sharp hooves.

(I could only think about this video I saw of a cyclist getting pummeled by some gazelle in Africa during a cycling race… the beast cracked the cyclist’s helmet in half and broke his nose.)

That was my commute to work.

On my way home that same day, I saw an interesting site—and wish I had taken a picture, but I didn’t want to be weird and creeper-ish.

This guy passed me on the trail and he had this awesome-sauce cargo bike, set up with a baby seat on it and everything. It looked like maybe he had just dropped his kid off at an after-school day care, or was on his way to pick his kid up… but when I caught up to him at one of the traffic lights, he was picking some shrooms that were growing on the side of the trail.

At first I thought it was utterly weird, but on second reflection I told myself that I was on a bike and such encounters were actually normal, and should be expected.

Fast forward to this past weekend, which I guess we can call Sandy prep-time.

The storm was on its way toward the Atlantic region and knowing I wouldn’t get to ride my bike to work I decided to get at least one decent ride in before outside was a no-no zone.

Got M to come with me and we were out for … an hour and half or so. It was a decent ride. Not hot, not cold. It started getting a little windy towards the end of our ride but was totally worth it—wrong turn and all.

Right now I’m holed up in a basement at M’s mom’s house. Watching dudes play some computer games. *excite*



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